Nurse loses license for 20 years over sex with hospice patient

An Oklahoma County judge may decide if nurse's discipline in sex case is too harsh.
BY NOLAN CLAY, nclay@opubco.com Published: January 16, 2011
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He told a hospice social worker March 5, “What a fool I have been. I have messed up everything,” according to the evidence.

He never returned home. He died May 21 in Illinois.

Liz Reiter indicated to the nursing board that he starved himself to death.

They married in 1996 and had two children. She moved to Nebraska after his death.

Van Brunt admits to “the mistake” of having a sexual relationship with a patient, her attorney, Kimberly Stevens, told District Judge Patricia Parrish. The attorney said Van Brunt was a young, inexperienced nurse working in an emotionally demanding field of practice and “fell in love.”

The Oklahoman twice asked for an interview with Van Brunt, but her attorney never made her available.

Who made complaint?

Van Brunt got her nursing license in October 2008. She can apply for reinstatement of her revoked license in August 2030 if she pays a $5,000 penalty. The board did not reveal who made the complaint against her.

She was not accused of any crime because of the relationship.

Van Brunt did visit the patient several times while off duty, drinking with him and watching football on TV, according to testimony before the board. Liz Reiter said she even asked the nurse to stay overnight with her husband twice last January while she underwent a sleep study.

Chris Reiter on March 9 signed a typed statement that “Amber Van Brunt had inappropriate contact with me multiple times during regular hours nursing visits.” Weeks before his death, he and his wife filed a negligence lawsuit against Angelic Family Hospice. The lawsuit was later dropped.

In their written exchanges last February, Van Brunt called her patient “sexy” and “lover.”

The last exchange came in March after she wrote she was “knocked up.”

He wrote, “You broke my heart babe.”

She responded at one point, “I wish it was u.”

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